Meet the winners of the ELLE Decoration International Design Awards 2022

From tantalising tableware to fantastic furniture, we hero the designs – and designers — making waves this year


We’re delighted to present the victors of the 20th annual ELLE Decoration International Design Awards, photographed within the iconic Pirelli Tower. A total of 15 worthy winners have been voted for by the Editors in Chief of all 25 global editions of ELLE Decoration, in collaboration with DS Automobiles, our official partners. Read on to find out who we selected as the best of the best...

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1 Designer of the year: Khaled El Mays
khaled el mays
Federico Cedrone

By his own admission, Khaled El Mays operates in the space between art and design. Going beyond purely aesthetic qualities, his work uses handmade products and meticulously chosen materials. He often selects raw, humble substances and gives them new value and a contemporary twist, thanks to painstaking craftsmanship, a deep knowledge of processes and the use of precious metals and yarn or recycled leather. This takes place in his native Lebanon – the Bekaa valley, in particular – whose traditions, kept alive by local workshops and craft companies, he seeks to enhance. Elsewhere, El Mays uses similar skills; for example, in Naples’ Spanish Quarter, he worked with leather- and iron-working experts to develop ‘Scale’, a collection of tables. Links between cultures are explored in his interior design, too. Local symbols, codes and languages resonate in the ‘fantastic landscapes’ that he creates with objects and furniture, achieving a poetic result. @khaledelmays

2 The fabric: ‘Joie de Vivre’ by Pierre Frey
pierre frey

The landscape of Provence has long inspired artists, becoming a home from home for the avant-garde who, over the last century, have interpreted its natural beauty in new and exciting ways. Continuing that tradition, Pierre Frey’s in-house design studio imagined this creatively free collection of fabrics, wallpapers and rugs. Taking cues from patterns of the 1950s, as well as motifs borrowed from the region’s textile traditions and ceramic workshops, the playfulness of the range’s artistic expression is perhaps best represented by ‘La Toile du Pientre’, a large graphic tapestry that reinterprets a work by contemporary artist Heather Chontos.

3 Young design talent of the year: Marcin Rusak
marcin rusak

On a personal mission to create fascinating, lyrical objects, 35-year-old Polish designer Rusak is known for his experimentation, which focuses mainly on nature and the passing of time. His artefacts, furniture and installations are made of biological materials such as flowers, shellac, resin, beeswax, and sometimes even flour, sugar or sand. Previously, he has infused real flowers into delicate mouth-blown glass objects and, for recent collection ‘Tephra’, he applied molten metal to specially treated flowers mounted on frames to create vessels (even a credenza) that resemble petrified Pompeiin artefacts. Using craftsmanship and technology, his designs allow the natural elements he uses to retain their organic qualities. Describing his work, he says it is ‘an experience in which impermanence, change and chance are celebrated’. Looking at the world and human beings’ complex relationship with it, his designs are both beautiful and hauntingly timely.

4 Bathroom: Liquid collection by Tom Dixon for VitrA
tom dixon

A little fun, a little minimalist, British designer Tom Dixon’s new collection, in collaboration with Turkish brand VitrA, has set a new standard for the bathroom. Made from white ceramic, the shapes are fluid and rounded with generous profiles – taking inspiration from the forms of Victorian plumbing – that offer maximum customisation. The 40 items in the collection, in which the double sink stands out, include fixtures, showers and accessories such as a sculptural stool. The taps, available in 10 models, have glossy black or chrome finishes, while the metal storage units come with ribbed glass or perforated sheet-metal doors. There is no shortage of tiles, with a choice of four patterns in relief and five neutral colours that can be combined as desired.

5 Floor covering: ‘DIN’ by Konstantin Grcic
konstantin grcic

‘DIN stands for Deutsche Institut für Normung, the German Institute for Standardisation. In Germany, a sheet of A4 paper is called DIN A4,’ explains the German designer Konstantin Grcic. His tile collection for Italian brand Mutina is a triumph of logic, based on the modular idea of four different sizes of tiles that all fit within the same architectural grid to create modern mosaics. The potential in composition is huge – play with scale to create unique patterns or mix the eight available colours (available in both matt and glossy versions) to produce inventive, but pleasingly well-ordered, spaces.

6 Interior designer of the year: Laura Gonzalez
laura gonzalez

‘Chic mix and match’ is how this multifaceted French interior designer and architect defines her style. Laura Gonzalez builds interest by combining materials, motifs and historical references, while her attention to detail enriches any environment with unique features. The intention is to give spaces a new character using colour, light and sources of inspiration that she captures and conveys exquisitely each time. She has worked with the likes of Cartier and Christian Louboutin, as well as on the look of restuarants in Paris and beyond – projects that helped to put her firmly in the spotlight – and has a knack for turning residential properties into creative hotbeds with the help of experts, including potters, carpenters and marble workers. Her own collection of furnishings and objects is eclectic and characterised by carefully chosen workmanship and materials.

7 Seating: ‘Lemni’ by Marco Lavit for Living Divani
living divani

This armchair is defined by a line that recalls the symbol of infinity. ‘I worked on the structure as if it were architecture: it becomes a seat only when you use it,’ explains the designer Marco Lavit. ‘Lemni’, he says, ‘expresses its function when the weight of the human body, leaning on it, stretches the flap of leather, transforming it into a shell.’ A decidedly minimalist concept that came about almost by chance, the idea shows the designer’s lightness, poetry and precision. The supporting structure, which consists of steel tubes in a matte-black finish, defines a ‘volume’ with a graphic impact, but it is the leather shells and geometric roller that add purpose to this piece.

8 Tableware: ‘Feast’ by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ivo Bisignano for Serax
ottolenghi for serax

The Ottolenghi effect – that is, ‘the creation of a meal full of colour, flavour, generosity and sun’ – is known to those who’ve had the pleasure of visiting one of the Anglo-Israeli chef’s restaurants and delicatessens in London or reading his cookbooks that celebrate vegetables in all their varieties. This tableware collection, developed with his friend and artist Ivo Bisignano for the Belgian brand Serax, will further spread his style to tables around the world. The motif of the collection is the letter ‘O’, in bold, graphic and chromatic variants that possess the liveliness of the recipes of the award- winning chef.

9 Wallcovering: ‘Altronde’ by Icinori for Dedar
Federico Cedrone

Depicting imaginary worlds to get lost in is characteristic of illustrator-duo Icinori (Raphael Urwiller and Mayumi Otero). ‘Altronde’, their wallcovering, inspired by tapestries, that invites people to think outside of the box is no exception. Its pattern depicts an idealised city of the imagination, with four different colourways displaying the changing light that plays across its architecture during long summer days. Realised on pure linen using an ancient artisanal screen-printing technique that dates back to the Chinese Song dynasty, it makes a textural and artistic addition to any room.

10 Sustainable achievement: ‘Tecla’ by Mario Cucinella Architects
mario cucinella architects

The first 3D printed raw-earth housing module, this project by Mario Cucinella’s architecture studio was so innovative it was selected to represent Italy at COP26 in Glasgow, the United Nations conference on climate change. It is, states Cucinella, ‘a pilot project inspired by one of Italo Calvino’s invisible cities’. Made in the Ravenna region of Italy, the prototype bridges building practices of the past and the future in innovative ways. ‘New technology, ancient material: a first experiment that breaks the paradigm of big waste and establishes a new “treaty of friendship” with the planet,’ Cucinella says. It can be built wherever it is needed, using local soil, and provides a viable alternative to tent cities. Created in collaboration with WASP (the World’s Advanced Saving Project) and SOS (School of Sustainability, the training centre founded by Cucinella), it is a fully ecological housing unit: the material is designed to balance thermal mass, insulation and ventilation. In just 200 hours, it’s possible to print a 60 sq m accomodation, complete with a lounge, kitchen, sleeping area and bathroom. Even the furnishings, partially integrated in the structure, embrace the philosophy of reuse and controlled waste recycling, as they return to the earth at the end of the cycle. It’s a generous, circular concept.

11 Furniture: ‘Allure O’ by Monica Armani for B&B Italia
bb italia table

With rounded corners and elliptical geometries, this collection of tables is a tribute to the glasses made famous by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and to her allure. The tables are characterised by a large central base, a well thought-out shape on top and a balance between straight and curved lines. Their square or rectangular tops are available in two sizes, to accommodate four to eight diners, and in different finishes: glossy or matte lacquered wood, white Carrara or black Marquina marble and glossy black glass. The dialogue between the volumes – the thick top and the pyramid-shaped base – generates a structural and visual harmony that makes these elements inseparable parts of an undeniably stylish whole.

12 Lighting: ‘Shades’ by George Sowden for Sowdelight
george sowden

New collection, new brand. Research into the unexpected technical potential of silicone led the English designer George Sowden’s team to create a series of lamps made up of interchangeable basic components in a selection of shapes (18 simple ones) and colours (there are 20 shades). The recyclable, resistant and washable material diffuses light in a natural way. Customers can choose by size (small, medium or large) and type (table, floor or suspended). There is also a cordless version to take anywhere.

13 Kitchen: Very Simple Teklan Edition by Teklan Evelina Severin for Very Simple Kitchen
severin for very simple

Simple and essential, functional and eclectic, Italian brand Very Simple Kitchen’s collections blend the best of its own country’s design heritage with elements of the Scandinavian aesthetic. This edition, created in collaboration with Swedish interior designer Tekla Evelina Severin, adds precious materials and an optical effect to the company’s modular units. A reference to medieval Italian architecture, the worktops are finished in dynamic strips of white Carrara and black Marquinia marble (a second option alternates pink Portugal and red Levanto marble). Attention to sustainability is a must for the team at Very Simple Kitchens, which selects waste Italian marbles to ensure maximum beauty with minimum ecological impact.

14 Bedroom: ‘Volare Due’ by Roberto Lazzeroni for Poltrona Frau
poltrona frau bed

The canopy that distinguished the first model of the ‘Volare’ bed is gone. In the new ‘Volare Due’ version, a bed to be placed against the wall or proudly in the centre of the room, the statement headboard steals the show. The precision details, which play on the balance between emotions and design, tell a story of craftsmanship and memory. Airy, solid and powerful, it embodies designer Roberto Lazzeroni’s precision and use of refined materials. Leather, wood, hide and fabric create a discreet and timeless style that can be integrated into classic or contemporary spaces, in keeping with the Poltrona Frau tradition.

15 Outdoor: ‘A‘mare’ by Jacopo Foggini for Edra

Sundeck, bench, armchair, chair, tables. These pieces, assembled by hand, resemble elementary designs. Made from a series of irregular rods, they evoke the magic of flowing water. The appearance of fluidity is achieved by plastic, worked ad hoc to make it elastic and comfortable. Full of captivating reflections and a sense of movement, these pieces will add visual impact to any outdoor space.

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